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Prior to starting NameStormers, the founders managed a subsidiary of Nielsen, the global research / TV rating organization.  Nielsen’s success has proven the importance of marketing research and we believe name testing research is a critical part of the name selection process …  BUT … given today’s economic challenges, you may feel like name testing research isn’t possible.

If your research budget vanished with the last round of budget cuts, there is another option.  That is, there is a way to test for the most important characteristic of a new name, at least in a limited fashion, with just a couple hours of your time.  Here is how:

  1. Call a few people you trust and ask them for their reactions to a handful of your favorite new name ideas.
  2. While you may feel compelled to take notes during each conversation, this isn’t necessary.
  3. Thank them very much for their time without any elaboration or any hint of what you are going to do next.
  4. NOW THIS IS THE KEY STEP: Call them back a day or two later and ask them which names they can remember.  Don’t prompt them. Don’t give them any hints.
  5. If no one can remember any of your great new name ideas, you need to come up with some more.  If the name you liked least is the only one people can remember, it should move to the top of the list and you should knock the others out.  That is, if a name is truly memorable, you will find that nothing else usually matters unless the name is blatantly offensive or has TM issues.  Likewise,  if a name isn’t memorable, nothing else really matters, including how much you and your team love the name.

You may feel we’ve oversimplifed.  This process certainly has its shortcomings.  There are many reasons to do more comprehensive research.  And we do more thorough name testing on a regular basis for many of our clients.  But, if you don’t have a budget, we believe you’ll find the above “quickie” name testing approach well worth a couple hours of your time.

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